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Islamic Society

“I sometimes have difficulty in my life keeping on the Straight Path. I often feel isolated but there is one thing I look forward to and that is the Friday Prayer at the local mosque. Because I work night shift it is especially difficult sometimes to wake up and get there on time, but I am determined. I was hoping for some uplifting tafsir, some stories of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, I was saddened when the Imam spent the whole Khutbah talking about how the Muslims should park their cars when visiting the mosque!....

Slavery is Akin to Jihad in Saudi Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam
Slavery is Akin to Jihad in Saudi Islam
Aiman Reyaz, New Age Islam

In 2003 a high-level Saudi jurist, Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan, issued a fatwa claiming “Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam.”He attacked Muslim scholars who said otherwise maintaining, “They are ignorant, not scholars ... They are merely writers. Whoever says such things is an infidel.” Let us spend a few seconds listening to Periyasamy’s story and mourning his ruined life at the hands of Saudi brutes who call themselves the most pure Muslims. Let us also keep this at the back of our minds that he is one of many whose lives are being destroyed in this fashion in this holier than thou “Islamic” country. ...

It has been a creeping realisation for some time now whether the custodians of our faith are doing more damage to the Islamic philosophy than the so-called infidels. Considering how loudly they talk of the Islamic Shariah, it is incredible that the same energy is not used to abolish some appalling deviations from the Shariah that are considered God’s will on a scale, which is incredible in its universal acceptance and horrific in its frequency of application....

No, it’s not fiction! Less in numbers they maybe, but they exist! Just not much talked about; they are seldom celebrated or openly appreciated. In a society which is generally full of sad stories of suppressed and subjugated women, are also women like Saima, a high profile English Professor, from Kurram Agency, who said; “My husband not only allowed me to work but he supports and enjoys my work too.”.... Rehana from Karachi shared, “My husband has been invincible shield and strong wall that helped me climb the success ladder”. ...

 

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam but it is an individual duty whereas enhancing our defence preparedness concerns the wellbeing and honour of the entire community. Unfortunately, our Ulama have spent their energies emphasising only the Hajj and Umrah. As a result today we find a multitude of people performing Hajj upon Hajj and Umrah upon Umrah. Had there not been quota restrictions possibly crores of pilgrims would have been permanently present in Makkah....

Madrasa Curriculum and Contemporary Schools: A Nadwa Graduate Asks Some Pertinent Questions
Md. Akram Nawaz, New Age Islam
Madrasa Curriculum and Contemporary Schools: A Nadwa Graduate Asks Some Pertinent Questions
Md. Akram Nawaz, New Age Islam

(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)

If being worldly was wrong, why did Prophet (pbuh) take to business and ask his followers to follow his way? If worldly comfort was a sin why did Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) train these pious souls in acquiring worldly comfort and prosperity? What is this Zakat? If economic backwardness is not a matter of concern, if worldly comfort has no meaning, why did Islam establish the system of Zakat?... If following Arabian way of life is so important, why did Rasool (saw) accept the way of ‘defence by digging a pit’ when it was part of an Iranian and totally non-Arab culture? …

Nadwat-ul-Ulama took the same route as other madrasas

Nadwat-ul-Ulama was founded to take necessary steps in formulation of madrasa curriculum as and when needed. But most shockingly its attitude towards bridging the gulf between old and new subjects has also not been encouraging. And today, this movement is almost dead. Now, Nadwat-ul-Ulama is alive only in the book named, “Tareekh Nadwat-ul-Ulama” (History of Nadwat-ul-Ulama). The dream that the founders of Nadwatul Ulama including Allama Shibli Nomani had seen has got dashed to smithereens. … In Nadwa too innovation is considered un-Islamic. …

Shocking tales emanate from madrasas…

Another bright point is that the students who join the mainstream and achieve success do not send their wards to madrasas even though they never get tired of praising the system of education in madrasas....

Both the *Declarations emanating from Arab countries, Marrakesh 2010 and Cairo 2009, provided in the report, are full of high-sounding resolutions on protecting the rights of children. But it is wealthy Arab countries that fund the tens of thousands of madrasas running across the Muslim world. As practised today Madrasa Education is a clear violation of the human rights of children to equality, dignity and quality education. Along with funds, the petrodollar-rich Arab countries also provide the core curriculum and text books for these madrasas. This teaching provides basic grounding in an extremist religious outlook that keeps these children from interacting with other communities, even other Muslim sects, and thus deprives them of any possible opportunities for a normal life. …

United Nations Webcast - UNIS, General Debate Item:3 (cont.), 27th meeting 19th Session 09 March 2012

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Most of the children admitted to these Islamic religious schools come from the poorest of the poor families. They are plucked out of their natural environment where they would have learned some skills necessary to survive as working adults. They are brainwashed in the madrasas by some semi-literate Mullahs and once their utility for attracting Arab funds earmarked for madrasa education is finished, they are literally thrown out on streets without any means or skills for survival. The wealthy and middle class Muslims do not send their children to madrasas, as they know that the only careers available to these children is to become low-paid imams or muezzins in village mosques. In some countries, like Pakistan, though, there is another option too. They can turn into suicidal human bombs, bringing some short-term prosperity to their impoverished families, but losing their own lives and killing scores of innocent men, women and children of other religions or other Islamic sects. … I would, therefore, urge the Council, to find some way to make countries stick to the promises and pious declarations they make to appear to be part of the comity of nations. … -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing the 19th session of UN Human Rights Council at Geneva on 9 March, 2012

A Journey To The Heart Of Islam
David Tresilian
A Journey To The Heart Of Islam
David Tresilian

Such growth in the numbers of pilgrims has altered many aspects of the experience of the hajj, with pilgrims now being taken by monorail to neighbouring Mina to perform the rituals and the Jamarat area, where pilgrims carry out ritual stoning, having been developed into a permanent five-storey structure able to handle the passage of 300,000 pilgrims an hour….

 
Decline of Muslims and its Solution:  Turkish philosopher Bediuzzaman Nursi’s perspective
Dr. Mohd. Akram Nawaz, New Age Islam
Decline of Muslims and its Solution: Turkish philosopher Bediuzzaman Nursi’s perspective
Dr. Mohd. Akram Nawaz, New Age Islam

Said Nursi's study of science and involvement with philosophy should be seen in the context of  increasing Western influence on the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries and the attacks which were being made on the Qur'an and Islam in the name of science, materialism and Positivist philosophy. The educational system in Turkey like other parts of the Islamic World of the time had not incorporated modern sciences.

Allama Shibli Nomani (1857-1914), an activist for curricular change in madrasa education in India, paid a visit to Constantinople’s educational institutions with a view to studying the educational system and academic progress there. … Shibli himself, a product of traditional education, then attached with Aligarh Muslim University, based on a modern understanding of educational needs, was well aware of merits and demerits of both the systems. Unfortunately, Shibli did not find the convergence of traditional and modern education in Turkey either. He saw the same gap between the old and modern sciences as he saw in his own country.

He is addressing the question of whether a disproportionate number of British Asian men are involved in grooming underage girls for sex. He thinks the answer is "Yes" – which is also very plain-speaking on a subject around which the British policing, political, academic and social work establishment dances with over-sensitive diplomacy….

 

Supreme Court's withdrawal of Haj Subsidy: A Welcome Order
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Supreme Court's withdrawal of Haj Subsidy: A Welcome Order
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, New Age Islam

The Supreme Court judgment has paved the way for progress in the right direction. The most enlightening aspect of the entire debate is the whole-hearted support of the Muslim leaders to this decision. Such mature reactions help the cause of the common people in the country and puncture the vicious agenda of those who wanted to use it as a tool to spread lies across the country.  In fact, a true implementation of this judgment will only help strengthen the cause of secularism in India and compel the government to focus on the work for the uplift of the community and not to work on issues which help build a negative propaganda against the Muslims in the country….

 

When it comes to descriptions of sexual or amorous encounters in their work, female Arab authors and poets are often asked whether they are recounting their own personal experiences….

 
Saudi Arabia: Slavery and Politics of Revenge in the Name of Harmain Sharifain
Dr. Ghulam Zarquani, Asstt. Professor Lone Star College, Houston
Saudi Arabia: Slavery and Politics of Revenge in the Name of Harmain Sharifain
Dr. Ghulam Zarquani (Tr. by New Age Islam)

According to reports, Ahmad Al-Ghazawi, an Egyptian advocate was in Harmain Sharifain, Saudi Arabia for Umrah. He has been arrested at the airport.   He was sentenced to one year jail and twenty lashes, in absentia, for using derogatory words against the King. It is said that he has been raising his voice against the administration for accesses being mooted on the Egyptian workers there. You will feel that no kind of oppression is enough if done on the foreign workers as is any derogatory world against ‘the king’.

Islamic scholars called Muftis in the Sunni tradition and Mullahs in the Shia tradition are charged with interpreting this law. The central texts of Sharia law are the holy book of the Qur'an, and the examples set forth by Muhammad and his early followers are documented in a collection of texts called the Hadith. To render a legal opinion, scholars weigh an action or principle against these texts and determine if it is in accordance with the spirit of the law…

 
After the Arab spring, the sexual revolution?
Martin Chulov, Eileen Byrne and Abdel-Rahman Husse

Women are deeply divided over the article, entitled "Why do they hate us?", by the prominent American-Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, which fulminates against "the pulsating heart of misogyny in the Middle East" and builds to an early crescendo by stating: "We have no freedoms because they hate us … Yes: They hate us. It must be said."….

We Need to Fight the Patriarchy, not Men
Nesrine Malik is a Sudanese-born writer and commentator
We Need to Fight the Patriarchy, not Men
Nesrine Malik

But there is a fine line to tread when writing about the status of Arab or Muslim women. For while to do anything but condemning outright, and exposing the real suffering we go through feels like shirking a responsibility and wasting an opportunity. And the problem with rejecting generalisations around women's oppression is that it is easy to misunderstand this rejection as a denial of the problem….

Reclaim the Lost Heritage of Islam
Saif Shahin is a research scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and a regular contributor to New Age Islam.
Reclaim the Lost Heritage of Islam
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

Shunning science as a “Western” pursuit means that any attitude of scientific inquiry is disdained as unIslamic; any attempt to build a society based on scientific thought is tarnished as sacrilegious. If you speak in favour of democracy or women’s rights or even basic human rights, you are simply told that these ideas are “Western” and therefore “not for us”. If you try to reason, you are declared a deviant, perhaps even an infidel, for reason itself is now “anti-Islamic”….

Another Sad Madrasa Tale: Several Torture, Brutal And Excruciatingly Painful Punishment By Madrasa Teachers
Sabeer Lodhi is an editor in the online industry and a freelance writer
Another Sad Madrasa Tale: Several Torture, Brutal And Excruciatingly Painful Punishment By Madrasa Teachers
Sabeer Lodhi

They were ‘severely tortured’ by none other than their own madrasa teacher, after being made to lie on the floor with heavy bricks on their chests and legs, only to be beaten by sticks. What was their crime to deserve such brutal and excruciatingly painful punishment? They merely plucked flowers for a female teacher of theirs. All illegal Madrasas should be demolished. …

Burn the Burqa, and the Beard
Saif Shahin is a research scholar at the University of Texas at Austin
Burn the Burqa, and the Beard
Saif Shahin, New Age Islam

FOR some time now, the burqa and the beard have been the most telling pronouncements of Muslimness. You spot a woman in a burqa anywhere in the world and you know that she is a Muslim. Beards are not quite as exclusively Muslim just yet, but the luxurious untrimmed ones, particularly when accompanied by a clean upper lip, are close to becoming so. There is nothing essentially Islamic about either of them. …

In the book 100 Cats Who Changed Civilisation: History’s Most Influential Felines, American author Sam Stall has a chapter titled Muezza: The Cat Who was Mohammed’s Favorite Cat. Explaining why cats are esteemed in Islam, Stall writes: Felines owe this exalted status to Muezza, the adored pet of the Prophet Mohammed. … 

 

….why do our collective thought processes work in such devious ways that twisted logic, perverse defence of patently criminal acts and misplaced sympathy for the guilty, find easy accommodation in our legal and moral universe? This is not an idle question in a society where vocal support for, or partisan silence over, suicide bombing, faith-based murder, massive corruption, open defiance of the law, or even making fun of the superior courts is not uncommon. …

 
Personality Cult or DUALISM of Muslims
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
Personality Cult or DUALISM of Muslims
Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

There is a buzz word called “pluralism’ lately among the enlightened Muslims scholars, who wish to distance themselves from the insularism that comes with the word Islam as it conjures up the Arabnised religion of Muslims, and therefore it negates the very fundamentals of Pluralistic society of mankind that is given in 2-4 etc as one’s ‘Belief’, ordained some fourteen centuries ago….

First, he inducted Hindus in the state structure and integrated them socially and culturally on equal basis. Secondly, he welcomed the Iranians to his court who were excellent administrators and literary people. Thirdly, he Indianised the Mughal culture by adopting Indian customs, traditional festivals and celebrations. These efforts brought Muslims and Hindus together. …

School syllabi demand it, but even then few young Pakistanis want to study science subjects and still fewer want to become scientists. Many generations have found science so odiously dull that they are now indifferent — even hostile — to a subject that stands at the very pinnacle of human understanding and progress. Contrast this with India. Surveys show that school students see science as the most prestigious and glamorous career to pursue. For them Einstein, Stephen Hawking, black holes, genes, etc. is the way to go. ...

Kyon ke bachay tau pal hi jatey hain!!!….. palnay wala tau woh (Allah) hai (children get brought up somehow or the other …. Allah looks after us all)’. But most unfortunately when it comes to having children, the overwhelming majority of our “faithful” population defies all forms of logic and leaves it all up to the divine powers. The argument here is certainly not about having more or less number of children. ...

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